After having one amazing run for their first half of this current season, Once Upon a Time sadly had their weakest mid-season finale last night with some great highlights that yet failed to make it an enjoyable last episode for the year.
The Frozen storyline was wrapped up with a very nice little bow as Elsa, Anna and Kristoff said their farewell to Storybrooke and returned to Arendelle. If the show-runners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz would be reading this by any chance: I wouldn’t mind a limited series spin-off show called Once Upon a Time in Arendelle next year. Just putting it out there because I can’t stress how much I fell in love with the portrayal of these characters and I was one of the few people who weren’t excited about the Frozen world coming into Once when it was first announced in last year’s season finale. One of the last good things that arc left us with was Anna making the gang realize that Rumple was up to no good and been lying this whole time.
Oh Regina, Regina, when will you find your happy ending? Why does this amazing character have to suffer so much, can someone please explain that to me? I was very sad for her as she had to give up her relationship with Robin when Marian started getting sick again due to the magic and they had to leave Storybrooke forever without having any way of coming back. It’s just unfair, although I appreciated that once she said farewell, we didn’t get any hints of “Uh-Oh, Evil Regina is coming back!” like they have done in the past. Instead we see her being joined by Emma at Granny’s for some drinks and shots. But Regina does get some happiness in this episode as Henry shows her the “Author Room” (I’m sticking to that term), bringing her one step closer of finding the author of the storybook.
I’m usually the one who gets very emotional for a lot of climaxes in TV shows, including great villains, but last night, I could have cared less for Rumple as he finally faced major consequences for his actions. As he tried to go through with his evil plans, the heroes arrived just in time to put an end to this. This is where Belle truly shined as she has been one of the show’s struggling characters when it comes to my interest level for her. She uses the dagger on him by returning Hook’s heart and then proceeds to force Rumple out of Storybrooke. Usually a scene like that would have me crying, but for once I enjoyed seeing Rumple suffer because this character just failed so hard this year after the big redemption arc he went through last season. I did feel for Belle though because it wasn’t easy for her at all whatsoever, but because this is television: the pain isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
Speaking of pain, let’s talk about the dreadful introductions of the Queens of Darkness with the new characters Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit), Ursula (Merrin Dungey) and the return of Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten). The trailer for this trailer already had me somewhat underwhelming already, but last night was the final nail in the coffin for me. Can we first discuss how it makes no sense that a character like Cruella was in the world of these fairytale characters? Is show really going to try and make her a powerful character when all she is famous for…is trying to get the fur of a bunch of Dalmatians? Yeah, that sounds about right when you put her in a group of magical creatures and characters like Maleficent and Ursula, he said sarcastically.
Ursula’s appearance was just a disaster and even though I like the actress, her appearance literally reminded me about Disney On Ice where you sort of see the legs underneath whatever actress was playing Ursula, while seeing her tentacles around her. It just looked silly as heck and it was really laughable. I wasn’t as bothered with Maleficent as I was with the other two, because at least this time she actually had the RIGHT looks although I feel this is only a response to the successful Maleficent movie that came out this year. After seeing them in the flashbacks, we see at the end of the episode where Rumple, in New York, is seeking up the three of them and wants them to join him in taking revenge on the heroes. Oh and he drops another huge hint that the Author is also going to involved in this arc, for good or bad.
I’m potentially being too harsh on the show right now, but it’s beyond me how you go from an amazing arc with the world of Frozen into basically Once Upon a Time’s own version DC Comics’ Legion of Doom. I’m not sold or the least bit excited about this upcoming storyline, but I hope to be proven wrong. However, it’s going to take a lot of convincing for me to buy this arc when the show returns in 2015. So overall, this was a very poorly done mid-season finale and I would have preferred last week’s episode as the winter finale for the show.
Once Upon a Time will return with brand new episodes, starting with episode 13 titled “Darkness on the Edge of Town” on Sunday, March 1, 8/7c on ABC.
Photo via ABC